"California Sprint Car
January 18th, 2013
American Legion Center,
Fairgrounds Parking Fee: $5.00
All persons must be at least 14 years of age to enter the Pits. Persons 14-17 years of age need both parents/guardians to sign and notarize a Parental Consent Form and submitted to the office prior to entering pit areas.
Drivers converge to honor fallen colleagues at Placerville opener
By Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Media Relations
PLACERVILLE, CA (4-6-13) - Nearly every driver made their way to front straight of Placerville Speedway and lined the edge of the track Saturday night to honor the late Stephen Allard and others. The event wasn't the work or presentation of the track's marketing staff nor it's officials, this one was presented by the driver's themselves to pay tribute, not only to Allard, but to other members of their racing family that have been lost over the past year.
Placerville sprint car driver Scott Russell, who owns the #14r sprint car that Allard drove to several wins and top finishes at Placerville last season, organized the event with the cooperation of track officials. Once the large crowd was assembled, Russell made a heartfelt speech to the fans about the past year as well as the year to come in the wake of 2012.
"This is how we heal and move on," said Russell. "We come out here and we start racing again. This is the beginning of the healing process for us as racers. We have lost too much in this state over the past year and we pray that its behind us. I'm a man of faith; I have turned to God to help me move on after this past year as it's the only way for me. Getting back out here is the first step and I thank all of the fans for their support."
Russell was joined by fellow driver Matt Peterson. Peterson was the 2012 Rookie of the Year at Placerville. After Peterson spoke, reflecting on the great mentor that his childhood hero Allard was to him in his first year, Placerville driver Andy Greg took to the microphone with an encouraging plea to the capacity crowd in the grandstands to continue the great support of their local race track.
"There is one thing that makes this sport happen, it's not us the drivers it is you the fans," said Gregg. "It is the fans support that keeps us motivated and helps us through the great times and the bad. I am asking all of you to please continue to come out and support your race track and us as drivers, bring your friends and family. It is all of you cheering us on each week that makes us do this. We could do it without you.
Following the trio of tribute speeches, Russell and Peterson strapped into their cars and performed the honorary laps in memory of Allard and their colleagues whom they lost over the past year. While the crowd remained nearly silent during the ceremony included with a standing ovation that was more powerful than ever with one of Placerville's largest attended point races Saturday night.
Saturday's championship opener was presented by Red Hawk Casino in conjunction with Hoosier Racing Tires, Pepsi, Coors Light, The Mountain Democrat and Thompson Auto Centers. Additional contingency awards were presented by ADCO Driveline and Riebes Auto Parts.The exciting season continues this Saturday night, April 13, at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. For more information visit www.placervillespeedway.com. Additionally, join with over 3000 others and like Placerville Speedway on Facebook where you can interact with other fans, drivers and staff and follow them on twitter to keep up to date on events to come.